While incumbent governors fear prison breaks and weekend furloughs gone bad, incumbent presidents fear bad jobs numbers. Today’s Labor Department numbers spell trouble for President Obama’s re-election prospects.
Chatter about the debt ceiling, AAA credit ratings and Chinese currency manipulation are just background noise for most voters, because no one really knows what any of that stuff actually means. It’s like elevator music.
Jobs are a different story. Jobs are tangible and everyone wants one, or needs one. Most people in America have a family member, or know someone, without a job. Therein lies the biggest obstacle to an Obama second term.
The administration will send out the surrogates to split hairs and talk about other metrics like presidential favorability ratings from an historical perspective. But that’s something they probably aren’t doing in Chicago, because Axelrod and Messina most certainly get it, even if the MSNBC pundit crowd doesn’t.
Don’t bet on the administration being tone deaf on this one. They know that of all the metrics that spell trouble for any politician, bad jobs reports are a five-car alarm. And they know that they need a new act, since masquerading as the “working man’s party” will be a tough sell this time around in states that touch the Great Lakes — like Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania — where people can’t find jobs
And you know who else can’t find jobs? Recent college graduates, many of whom voted for Obama in 2008. The parents of those graduates now fear their children won’t live a lifestyle comparable to their own.
All of these factors will make it hard for Obama to pull another rabbit out of his hat and win in Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia this time around.
The bad jobs numbers aren’t the only reason Obama will be tossed in favor of the Republican nominee. But so far, it’s the most compelling argument to date and likely to be the most lethal.
Team Obama, call Cabela’s, because you are going to need hip waders to put out this flaming pile of dog crap.
Michael J. Hudome is a Republican media consultant whose clients have included John McCain for President, all four national committees and several current and former members of the House and Senate.